My Cart


*Qiaira Riley*

Qiaira Riley is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and cultural worker, raised on Chicago's south-side, and based in Philadelphia. She holds a dual B.A. in Black Studies and Studio Art from Lake Forest College, as well as an M.F.A in Socially Engaged Studio Art from Moore College of Art and Design. She is a founding member of 2.0, a Philadelphia based collective that curates free, experimental art offerings for Black femmes and women. Her 2021 zine “How Tiffany Pollard Built the Internet: Representations of Simulacra, Virtuality, and Black women and femmes on the Internet and Its Art” is a part of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection. She is also the host of “Something You Can Feel”, a black art history podcast. She was the Jan-Feb 2024 resident at Our House Culture Center debuting her first solo exhibition, Beauty of the Week, a showcase of works created as the 2023 Leeway Foundation X Fleisher Art Memorial Artist in Residence. Her creative practice shifts between painting, ceramics, artist books, video, and alternative photography and transfer techniques. Her work is influenced by the visual language of Chicago’s south-side, Black vernacular interiors,and reality tv. She is currently the artist partner with the Friends of the Tanner House, supporting creative opportunities to envision the future of the historic Henry O. Tanner House in North Philadelphia.

"Inspired by the changing visual landscape of my hometown of Chicago, I created these works to explore how the gentrification of the south-side disrupts intimate, private memories associated with public spaces in the name of urban "renewal," even creating commodifiable opportunities to make community memories public and profitable, yet not sacred. I was attending a suburban private liberal arts college; many classmates often seemed obsessed with fantastical, cheap narratives about my community and the folks in it that deeply contrasted the memories of love and care I had grown up with. These works remember and reclaim these spaces while showing off my favorite public treasures, sights, and delicacies.

There are also odes to the sweet parts of my adolescence that I hope urban development will not shift: running around the city with my father, who has worked for the Chicago Park District for over 25 years, my mom getting me a 6 piece from Harold's Chicken whenever I got a good report card, or stopping by Zberry, the city's first black-woman owned froyo shop to get a treat after school. I moved to Philadelphia that same year with just two suitcases, my art supplies storage bin, and these paintings. These works have traveled with me throughout those years as I bounced from apartment to apartment, often acting as the only signifiers of home. Until now, they have never been shown together in a gallery setting. These works have transformed into intimate staples of my interior life, sweet reminders of the first medium I loved: paint, and fond representations of my home and childhood." -Qiaira Riley

Qiaira Riley's newest collection is available for purchase below. Read the press release here.